ZaraDowen
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I have started writing my personal statement, and I have seen so much publicity on using a witty one liner/quote to impress the people who assess the statements. Do I start with a quote that applies to what I want to do? Or shall I leave it strictly course/why I want to do it/what interests me/who inspires me
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Illiberal Liberal
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(Original post by ZaraDowen)
I have started writing my personal statement, and I have seen so much publicity on using a witty one liner/quote to impress the people who assess the statements. Do I start with a quote that applies to what I want to do? Or shall I leave it strictly course/why I want to do it/what interests me/who inspires me
I'd avoid quotes; unis wants to hear from you, not someone else (hence 'personal' statement).

Your first line doesn't need to be particularly witty/original, something along the lines of "I want to study x course because..." is fine imo.

Your PS should focus on succinctly conveying why you want to study the course you're applying for and what makes you a good candidate to do so (shown through motivation to study the course/passion for the course etc).
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ajs4815
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I think a lot of people are divided on whether or not you should use quotes but the general consensus is that if you're going to you need to make sure its correct with the right source and you actually need to "pick it apart" a bit in the sense that you need to explain why you've used it.

Personally I think it's a lot easier to create a memorable and direct first line if you do it in your own words. Chances are a lot of people who are applying for the same course will use the same quote as you and immediately your personal statement becomes less individual.
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alleycat393
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Don't worry too much about the opening line. It's difficult to write so do it last. Please don't use a quote. It's clichéd. Instead talk about why you want to do the course and what interests you.
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Jess194
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When I was writing my personal statement I found it much easier to write the body of my statement and come back to the opening line towards the end. As to using a quote, I think it's fine to use a quote by someone else but only if the quote can apply to yourself and your interests and if it's something that has really inspired you! I am currently studying English Literature at the University of Essex and in my own personal statement, my opening line explained what Literature itself really meant to me personally and how I interpret Literature as a study topic
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Leah K Stewart
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Hi Zara, if I was to advise I'd ask you to think more about representing yourself than impressing the people who look at this. That was my biggest mistake on my personal statement that, on the surface, was very successful; Oxford interview and all that. If we're sharing opening lines, mine was: "I’ve just arrived home after an amazing six weeks in the Peruvian Andes which changed my life." This was praised and also critiqued by a Personal Statement expert in a video we did together on my latest blog post. Just goes to show these things can always be improved! Keep playing with the drafts, it'll come together in the end and, if not, hand in what you have knowing it'll never be perfect, but it might still work.
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